A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
He was lifted on to his feet.
We watched the fakir's eyelids tremble; slowly the eyes opened. For a couple of moments after he awoke his eyeballs roiled, He resembled someone just emerging from a dream which had taken him very far away. For the next half-hour those eyes remained uncannily fixed. Little by little he returned to life. He made a violent effort to inhale air, opening "his inouth so wide that we noticed his tongue had been curled back into his throat. After the inhalation, he put his finger inside and thrust the tongue back to its normal position.
He had now wholly emerged from the cataleptic state into which he had so quickly thrown himself.
Having rested for a minute or two, he submitted to further tests which were to prove whether his flesh was really insensible to pain or not.
He asked the doctors to pierce his jaws with a pair of hat-pins, which one of them promptly did, running a hat-pin through each cheek, at such an angle that its end emerged through the mouth. Doctors are aware that there exist within the body certain places where the flesh between two muscles or two nerves may be pierced without injury. Therefore, good care was taken on this occasion to select really dangerous places in the fakir's face. Next they ran thick skewers through his jaws, Tahra Bey fully awake and perfectly realizing what was happening, yet he did not seem to feel in the least the painfulness of this procedure.
A more startling test was when he allowed another doctor to plunge a large dagger into his throat in front of the larynx, with the point reappearing after the dagger had passed through nearly one inch of flesh. Some of the doctors, who were, naturally and rightly, sceptical, took it upon themselves to watch the pupils of his eyes with the closest attention, in order to note whether or not they contracted or dilated. It was thus possible to establish the presence or absence of some drug in the body; they suspected that he might have secretly drugged himself before the performance, to render himself insensible to pain. They found his eyes were quite normal, however. When all these weapons had been withdrawn, not a single drop of blood could be seen on his skin. This was so astonishing to some of the doctors that they insisted on cutting his face with bits of glass and jabbing needles into his throat; still he emerged absolutely bloodless from the ordeal. They